One day when I was boiling some new potatoes for dinner I had some extra vinaigrette I had made for a salad, I added it to the potatoes instead of using butter - and loved it. This salad grew from there.
With the temperatures soaring into the 100's I'm always looking for cooling salads, but also something substantial that will keep us going throughout the day. This is a popular dish around my house, I usually make quite a large amount so I can nibble on it for lunch the next day.
The ingredients list here is really more of a suggestion, there are so many lovely alternatives to put in. The base is really the potatoes and dressing, then it's up to you. Sometimes I add some good quality canned tuna, or feta cheese, or asparagus. I used fennel today - I love the flavor and find it refreshing on a very hot day. Use what you love.
1 1/2lbs of small new potatoes (red or white or a mixture)
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 large handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3 sticks of celery finely chopped
1 large handful of green beans, cut in quarters
a scattering of black olives
2 tablespoons of capers
A couple of handfuls of fresh herbs (I used mint in this)
Zest of a lemon
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (countryside or original)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
Put the water on to boil for the potatoes. While you are waiting chop the celery and tomatoes, slice the fennel and place in a large bowl. Add the olives, capers and a handful of herbs and lemon zest.
To make the vinaigrette place the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until combined.
When the potatoes are almost cooked add the beans to the pan and cook until crisp. Don't overcook the potatoes or beans. Drain, add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the dressing and gently mix together. Check seasoning and add another handful of freshly chopped herbs and a final squeeze of lemon.
Serve immediately or later at room temperature.